News

Patrons can now push library’s buttons

By CARRINA STANTON

Staff Writer

POULSBO — The Poulsbo Friends of the Library’s work is on the up and up but one new project could be classified as being on the up and down.

After nearly three years of waiting, the Poulsbo Library recently christened its new elevator with a ride for a few of its star volunteers. Ed Hakanson, who helped get the grant to pay for the machinery said it felt good to finally see the lift in place.

“It’s very nice to have it,” he commented.

An elevator from the library’s top floor to the downstairs community meeting room was part of the original plans to renovate and expand the facility, which were finished in 2001.

However, it was not funded in the original construction contract because it would have added too much to the price tag. Even so, infrastructure was built into the library to help facilitate an elevator in the future.

Branch manager Susan Lavin said the library was also built so that with or without an elevator, the facility was Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, which is required by law.

“But they had to go outside to get downstairs,” Lavin said.

A big step forward for the elevator came when Hakanson and city staff put together a grant application to the State Department of Housing and Urban Development for installation of an elevator. The application was approved for $50,000 in fiscal year 2002. Work began bidding for elevator companies in December 2002 and the custom-fabricated lift was installed this summer.

Lavin said besides helping the library’s disabled and elderly patrons get from one floor to the other, she feels the elevator will tie the library’s two floors together better.

“We can better utilize the parking downstairs now that we have this,” she said.

Friends of the Library member George Morgan said the new elevator is also going to save him a lot of work when the organization’s big book sale comes around Oct. 18.

Morgan usually takes on the task of transferring Friends book sale items from upstairs to the downstairs community room for every sale.

“This is a terrific labor-saving device,” Morgan said. “Usually, I’d take them outside before — in any weather.”

And while Friends members are happy with the new addition, they’re not resting on their laurels. Hakanson said there are other items on the organization’s wish list, including trellises for each of the library’s doorways.

“I’d be happy to see the library completed before I die,” he quipped.

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